Monday, January 11, 2016

How to be A True Atheist (not funny!)

JP Sears posted a video entitled "How to be an Atheist (funny)" - see below.

Personally, I appreciate a lot, though not all, of his "funny" videos. This one is in-between. Not that it "hurt me as an atheist", or anything like that -- I just thought that his commandments for atheists didn't really hit home. It's certainly not easy to make fun of such a diverse group, though.

So, without further ado, here are about 10 or so commandments that I personally find funny:

  1. Do not be an agnostic. Agnostics are cowardly, wimpy crybabies. More importantly, they are not True Atheists, and we obviously cannot have that.
  2. Speaking of which, a True Atheist is a feminist or an antifeminist, (both for purely rational reasons, of course), but never both at the same time, and never none of the two, since that would constitute a form of agnosticism, and (see above).
  3. Speaking of which, once you have decided whether you are a feminist or an antifeminist, members of the other group shall instantly become lesser atheists to thee, since they do not adhere to the One True Atheism.
  4. Speaking of which, thou shalt have a True Atheist stance on everything. Remember: your Atheism is not just atheism, but Atheism. Capital A. See?
  5. Speaking of which, a True Atheist is always skeptical of about 84% of all things.
  6. Among the 18.3% of things a True Atheist cannot be skeptical of are to be found, in order: God's nonexistence (duh), the superior priority of rationalism above everything else, strictest lipservice to the scientific method, and the fact that Richard Dawkins said it all.
  7. A True Atheist never attacks the person, but only their moronic ideas. Of course, believing in those implies complete stupidity and a lack of morality on part of the believer, and you can easily let it show by being snide and displaying an unholier-than-though attitude. When questioned, you then revert to being butthurt, all the while repeating your old ideas-not-people sthick, thereby saving your True Atheist Ass.
  8. When someone talks to god, it's called prayer. When god talks back, it's called psychosis. What is it called when multiple gods talk back to you?
  9. The sky is empty. Been there, done that, got the vertigo.
  10. Attendance at SkeptiCon is not optional.
  11. Screaming discussions on youtube channels with lots of CAPITALS and exclamation MARKS are NOT OPTIONAL!!!!!!!!1111!
  12. Meditation, however, IS optional.
  13. Don't get caught.

P.S.: I think the problem of JP's video boils down to Poe's Law. Satirical humor doesn't work when the satirized content might just as well comprise everything in the satire. Or in other words, if your target is indistinguishable from its own parody, then satire makes no sense.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Questions we had after watching "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"


These are some questions and remarks that came up when I discussed The Force Awakens with my girlfriend, straight after we watched it. We were really saddened by the fact that so much was left unexplained, and that the movie seemed to have no regard whatsoever for its protagonists, and was more concerned with imitating episode 4 (plus bigger bangs and booms) than with creating a good story and memorable characters. It's way ahead of the abominable prequel trilogy, and it has a fair bit of humor, which is nice - but it still has miles to go towards anything resembling a good movie.

  • How can two people fit into that teeny tiny TIE fighter?
  • Why would a scavenger sell spare parts to a local dealer for meagre food rations? In an economy that spans a whole galaxy, there should be something like competition, and money. At the very least, there should be some explanation why that local dealer has so much power.
    • Why was a traitor needed in the fortress, after Han Solo had declared that he had somehow found the Millennium Falcon, and that the First Order can do the same thing at any time?
    • How did that finding the MF thing work, anyway?
    • Why was the fortress' owner (weird eye lady) pictured as completely trustworthy? A shady but somewhat likable character would have made for much more drama.
    • That whole lightsaber scene, where Rey hears a baby cry, touches the lightsaber and has some visions felt like it had potential, but that potential was never explored. She's in an area she has no business being, gets trapped in a room, the house owner follows her... only to then have said proprietor preach a bit and hand her the lightsaber. What??

    • How did Leia Organa shed maybe 3 tiny tears after the death of her (I suppose) long time partner, the father of her son, and a life long friend?
    • What really happened between Han Solo and Leia Organa?
    • Why was there basically no interaction between the two, apart from some dramatic staring into each other's eyes?
    • How much money did Mark Hamill make just by staring intently at the camera for 30 seconds?

    • Who came up with that terrible name "Snoke" for the Supreme Leader?
    • Is Gollum the Supreme Leader?
    • Why did me and my girlfriend both struggle to remember the names of the protagonists?

    • If weird-eye-lady has held her fortress literally for millennia, as Han seemed to suggest, then how does she not have the connections to avoid its destruction at the hands of the *cough*Empire*cough*FO in just one instance, because of one shady spaceship?
    • Why does the *cough*Empire*cough*FO put so much emphasis on one lonely remaining Jedi, who has essentially exiled himself from the galaxy?
    • How did weird-eye-lady simply accept the fact that her whole shiny fortress was destroyed within seconds?
    • How did the *cough*Empire*cough*FO come to be?
    • The location of a person is basically a coordinate tuple with 3 numbers. How does one need a two-part map, with one part cut out from the rest in a weird shape, in order to find Luke?

    • Why did Ren (or was it Ben? or Ken?) kill Han Solo within a minute or so? Wouldn't it have made for much better storytelling to have him succumb to his father's strength, try to redeem himself, but ultimately fail?
    • RenBenKen thinks his father is weak? Seriously?? You do know who you're talking about, right?
    • Apropos: I do not believe for a second that RenBenKen boy is able to face up to his father in that way. The guy is essentially a coward hiding behind a stupid mask. His father is the Badass Who Shot First. Sorry, I'm not buying it. It's not possible.
    • Just how did this RenKenBen guy end up where he now is, anyway? Did he ramble the galaxy with his father, but then somehow decide it's time for some dark-sidey business?
    • Why does BenRenKen boy wear a stupid mask, anyway?
    • How did Han Solo end up with his new spaceship?
    • Yes, we know that Renkenbenny will show up in the next movie. But it would have been nice to get at least some evidence of his escape to make it at least a little bit believable.
    • How does a sanitary man take part in an offensive with blaster guns and all?